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Sedona, Arizona, AZ 86351, United States
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PYRAMID TO SCORPION TRAIL LOOP

Pyramid to Scorpion Trail Loop
A red rock formation as seen from the Scorpion Trail in West Sedona. Can you spot Coffee Pot Rock?

This moderately challenging hike offers classic desert scenery and top views of Cathedral rock.

 

ARTICLE BY TERESA K. TRAVERSE. PHOTOGRAPHS BY DEB WEINKAUFF.


As the cooler temperatures gradually arrive in September, we always look forward to heading back out to the trails more frequently. And while we’re building back up our strength, we’re searching for hikes that are moderately challenging and not too long. And the aforementioned reason is one of the many why we love hiking the Pyramid to Scorpion Trail Loop in West Sedona.

Pyramid to Scorpion Trail Loop

If you hike this loop trail, you can expect to see classic desert scenery like the juniper tree on the right.

Kick off your hike by turning right on the Scorpion Trail. One thing to note: There’s virtually no shade on this trail. Be sure to wear a hat, bring water and slather on sunscreen before you head out. As you hike, you’ll immediately see why mountain bikers love this trail. The ascent is gradual, and the trail winds in a way that makes it more of a fun challenge. You’ll pass by agave and prickly pear cactus all along the trail. When you first start, be sure to look right to see views of Upper Red Rock Loop Road from above and hear the cars whiz by. At 0.4 miles, they’ll be a barbed fence to your left. Head straight here. At 0.6 miles, a fallen tree branch blocks a spot where it looks the trail branches off. Turn right at this spot. After hugging a red rock pyramid formation, you’ll eventually arrive at a sign for Pyramid and Scorpion Trails at about the 1 mile marker. Look to your left for a view of Coffee Pot Rock in the distance. Take the Pyramid Trail here. This spot is a little tricky to navigate. You’ll want to look behind you at the Scorpion Trail and take the right fork to go up and onto the Pyramid Trail.

Pyramid to Scorpion Trail Loop

Expect to see expansive views of Cathedral Rock on this hike.

From here, the Pyramid Trail winds and then descends. At around 1.3 miles and onward, you’ll be able to spot Cathedral Rock in the distance. Be sure to admire that view – consider it your reward for getting closer to the trail’s end. Red rocks occasionally obscure the trail. But you can find it again if you look out in the distance for a cleared path. Mind your footing here since the rocks can be slick. At 1.7 miles, you’ll be up close to the pyramid red rock. Enjoy the view and the shade here. Continue onward, and you’ll eventually end up back in the parking lot and have completed a hike that clocks in at a total of 2.3 miles.

Pyramid to Scorpion Trail Loop

From the Scorpion Trail in West Sedona, you can see Upper Red Rock Loop Road from above and iconic Cathedral Rock in the distance.

 

 

DIRECTIONS: From Uptown, head West on AZ-89A for about 4.7 miles, and turn left onto Upper Red Rock Loop Road. You’ll pass the Sedona Red Rock High School on your right. Follow the winding road for a little less than 2 miles and turn right at the sign for Chavez Ranch Road into a small cleared lot. There are no restrooms at the trailhead. You also can access scenic spot Lover’s Knoll featured in Open Portfolio from Upper Red Rock Loop Road.